Cummings Foundation Grant Recipient

BONE MEMORY: Armenian Pilgrimages to the Killing Fields of Dayr al-Zur ~ Sunday, April 21, 2024 ~ In Person: LA / On YouTube

Ararat-Eskijian Museum and Research Center (AEMRC) CSUN Armenian Studies Program Dayr al-Zur Elyse Semerdjian NAASR Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA

Sunday, April 21, 2024, at 4:00pm Pacific / 7:00pm Eastern

In Person at the Ararat-Eskijian Museum Sheen Chapel, 15105 Mission Hills Road, Mission Hills, CA 91345

Livestream on the Ararat-Eskijian YouTube channel.

DR. ELYSE SEMERDJIAN: Robert Aram and Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Chair of Armenian Genocide Studies, Clark University

This presentation outlines the earliest Armenian pilgrimages to the killing fields of Dayr al-Zur (Der Zor) in the Syrian Desert. It is there that Armenians interacted with the remains of Armenians murdered during the Armenian Genocide (1915-1918) in acts of remembrance. Semerdjian discusses the origins of the now-destroyed Armenian Genocide Memorial in Dayr al-Zur and the ritual and collection habits of pilgrims that enact what she calls bone memory. Using archival documents and oral histories, she presents the genesis of these memory practices that largely halted during the Syrian War.

Elyse Semerdjian is a social historian of the Ottoman Empire whose research focuses on the experiences of women and the empire's Armenian subjects. She has authored Off the Straight Path”: Illicit Sex, Law, and Community in Ottoman Aleppo (Syracuse University Press, 2008) and Remnants: Embodied Archives of the Armenian Genocide (Stanford University Press, 2023) as well as several articles on gender, Ottoman Armenians, urban history, and law in the Ottoman Empire.

Ararat-Eskijian Museum and Research Center (AEMRC)
National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR)
Promise Armenian Institute at UCLA
Armenian Studies Program at Cal State Northridge (CSUN)

Dr. Elyse Semerdjian's book Remnants: Embodied Archives of the Armenian Genocide is available from the NAASR Bookstore.

Photo: Dayr al-Zur (Der Zor) memorial, destroyed in 2014, courtesy of Bardig Kouyoumdjian

Click here for the flyer.

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